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Wirral cabinet to consider how extra transport funding will be allocated
4:31pm Monday 15th October 2012 in News
WIRRAL Council's ruling cabinet will this week consider a report setting out how a funding boost for local transport schemes will be allocated.
It was announced in July that the borough would receive a £3.2 million share of a £19.9m grant awarded to the Merseyside Transport Partnership, which incorporates Merseytravel and the five Merseyside local authorities, from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
The funding will be allocated over three years and be used to fund both capital and revenue programmes.
More than £2million – around £670,000 per year – will be allocated to capital schemes and supplement the grant the Council receives from the Department of Transport to deliver the Local Transport Plan.
It means each of the 12 Area Forums will have around £20,000 each to spend on road safety schemes in their neighbourhoods, which could pave the way for more 20mph zones to be introduced if Area Forums decide that is a priority for them.
The majority of the capital investment from the LSTF will go towards improving the walking and cycling infrastructure in Wirral to boost the prospects of people finding work and to a lesser extent encourage more visitors to the borough.
On the revenue side, the emphasis remains on supporting individuals and businesses with their travel to and from work.
The Business Travel Support project enables a team of Travel Advisors to be employed to work with local companies to design and deliver bespoke travel plans to encourage employees to consider more sustainable forms of transport to get them to and from work.
The Community Travel Hub will provide a one-stop shop of advice and guidance to residents with the aim of removing any transport barriers that may be preventing them from finding work.
The kind of schemes it advises on are already established and include the 'scooter commuter' and 'cycle-to-work' schemes.
Cllr Harry Smith, Wirral Council cabinet member for Streetscene and Transport Services, said: "Particularly in these times of serious budget challenges, our share of this successful LSTF bid is a very welcome boost.
"It will give us the opportunity to deliver additional projects and schemes in Wirral which will help to remove transport as a barrier to employment for local people.
"It also means local people will once again have the opportunity to decide on transport schemes in their own community through the allocation of funds through Area Forums."